Witness brain scan doesn't help

Posted By: Staff
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London, May 12 (ANI): Monitoring brain activity of witnesses reveals no more than what they say they remember, a study has shown.

The study by Jesse Rissman and his team at Stanford University in California comes amid controversy over whether to admit functional MRI scans as evidence in US courts.

As part of their research, the team asked 16 volunteers to view 200 mugshots, reports New Scientist.

An hour later, they were again shown pictures of faces, some of which they had seen before and others that were new.

The researchers recorded fMRI scans of the volunteers' brains as they reported which faces they recognised.

While the brain scans matched the volunteers' decisions on whether the faces were familiar, they could not predict if the recollection was accurate.

The team also don't know how easily a witness could cheat the system: remembering a recent event or fabricating a lie may look the same to the scanner.

The study has been published in the Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (ANI)

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